What does it mean that North Carolina is an equitable distribution state? If property disagreements can’t be solved between parties, the court will step in to divide the spouses’ property fairly. Though the court begins with the assumption that the property should be split equally, there are circumstances that warrant unequal (yet just) distribution.
Before your property can be divided by the court, it must be put into three categories:
- Marital property: With some exceptions, marital property is considered any property obtained during marriage until the date of separation.
- Separate property: Property acquired before you were married. This is not divided by the court.
- Divisible property: For the courts, marital property must be valued as of the date of separation. Because property values may fluctuate between the time of separation and time that property is divided, divisible property is any increase or decrease in value of marital property between separation and division.
What kind of property can be divided? Some examples of real and intangible property could be the family home, jewelry, vehicles, household goods, debts, and retirement accounts.
Which are some factors do the courts consider when splitting marital and divisible property equitably?
- Spouses’ ages
- Overall health
- Assets and liabilities
- Length of marriage
- Contribution or dissipation of assets/property of each spouse to the marriage